HAWTHORN has matched its club record 12-game winning streak with a thumping 58-point defeat of the Brisbane Lions at Aurora Stadium.
The Hawks booted seven goals to two in a dominant third quarter in, at times, greasy conditions after they had led by 22 at half-time to thrash the Lions, 21.17 (143) to 12.13 (85).
The Lions fought hard for the first half of the match, but couldn't match last week's comeback against Geelong when the home side hit the accelerator after the long break, with only Hawthorn's inaccurate kicking early preventing a complete mauling.
Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin booted four goals each with Shane Savage and Luke Breust kicking three apiece among 11 goalkickers for the Hawks, who equalled a 1961 streak that took them to premiership glory.
Coach Alastair Clarkson remained tight-lipped on the significance of the milestone streak, but was clearly impressed by his side's ability to score heavily on a blustery afternoon in Launceston.
"(The streak) means we're winning games of footy and that's what we need to do to give ourselves the best chance of finishing high up on the ladder and that's really our only goal," he said.
"It was a pretty tough game today and the conditions made it really difficult. To kick 21 goals in those conditions was pleasing.
"Brisbane were a very dangerous opponent. They won the pre-season cup and have got some good players and as we've seen, they've knocked off Geelong and Essendon so they can produce some good footy on their day, so we were pleased we were able to at least negate what their strengths are and ran away with a good victory today."
"We knew that if we continued to play to our game plan that eventually the game would open up if the conditions allowed that."
For the Lions, co-captain Jonathan Brown fought a near lone battle with four majors and Mitch Golby chipped in with two in front of 15,796 people.
Lions coach Michael Voss lamented his side's inability to stick with the Hawks as they shifted up a gear during the third quarter, singling out a brief period just before the final change as being crucial.
"It was probably during the third quarter, with maybe six or seven minutes to go when they just piled on the goals," he said.
"That was probably the time we were pressing the most and they just were able to right the numbers a little bit and kick a couple of goals and get that wave of momentum.
"There were still some things in the game where you walk away and we're making progress in some areas, but in the end Hawthorn were just far too efficient."
"They're a good footy team the Hawks, obviously, but there's certainly things we need to be able to improve and at times we just looked a bit untidy for my liking so that's something we've got to make sure we improve. If we're going to really capitalise or get more wins we have to be much better with the ball and make better decisions.
Hawthorn's victory sets up a tantalising attempt at breaking the club record in a blockbuster against Geelong at the MCG next Saturday.
But they could have injury concerns over luckless Xavier Ellis, who was subbed off before half-time, and Liam Shiels, who appeared to injure his right ankle.
Josh Gibson survived a spectacular collision with Lion Golby, becoming airborne and landing on his neck in a frightening third-quarter incident that temporarily forced him from the field and earned a special mention from his coach.
"He's a real warrior for us in the back end," Clarkson said of the brave defender.
The disruptions couldn't stall Hawthorn's momentum, though, with Roughead's back-to-back majors in the third quarter breaking the Lions' resistance before Savage and Breust bagged two each as the Hawks ran away with it in the last.
Hawthorn could have shot out to a substantial lead in the first quarter but they only kicked 3.8 (26) to Brisbane's 1.2 (8). Their poor kicking was typified by Isaac Smith's run into an open goal only to grubber it through for a behind.
They made some amends with two goals in as many minutes after the break to lead by 30 before a double from Brown narrowed the margin to 16.
But Brown's effort was equalled spectacularly by Franklin, who skidded one through from 60 metres and, a minute later, drove one home from an acute angle on the left from 50.
The Lions hit back through Tom Rockliff to go to the long break 22 points down, having kicked four in answer to Hawthorn's five in an entertaining quarter.
Lance Franklin attempts to mark in front of Justin Clarke in Launceston. Picture: AFL Media
HAWTHORN 3.8 8.9 15.15 21.17 (143)
BRISBANE LIONS 1.2 5.5 7.7 12.13 (85)
Hawthorn: Franklin 4, Roughead 4, Savage 3, Breust 3, Hale, Simpkin, Lewis, Smith, Gunston, Shiels, Hill
Brisbane Lions: Brown 4, Golby 2, Rockliff, Hanley, Rich, Black, Yeo, Lisle
Hawthorn: Sewell, Mitchell, Smith, Roughead, Franklin
Brisbane Lions: Moloney, Leuenberger, Redden, Hanley, Brown
Hawthorn: Xavier Ellis (calf), Liam Shiels (ankle)
Brisbane Lions: Nil
Hawthorn: Xavier Ellis replaced by Jonathan Simpkin in the second quarter
Brisbane Lions: Sam Docherty replaced Ryan Harwood in the third quarter
Umpires: Armstrong, Jeffrey, Fisher
Official crowd: 15,796 at Aurora Stadium